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McCain Strafes Obama on War

By Howard Kurtz
The Ad: Barack Obama never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan. He hasn't been to Iraq in years. He voted against funding our troops. Positions that helped him win his nomination. Now Obama is changing to help himself become president. John McCain has always supported our troops and the surge that's working. McCain. Country first.

Analysis: This McCain commercial tries to paint Obama as inexperienced and anti-military, in part by taking a protest vote out of context. Obama has frequently voted to finance the war but was one of 14 Senate Democrats to oppose a war-funding bill last year -- after Republicans removed troop withdrawal deadlines -- saying he did not want to be "validating the same failed policy in Iraq."

The ad is accurate in saying that Obama, who has spent most of the last two years campaigning, has not held a hearing on Afghanistan in the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee he chairs. His only visit to Iraq was in 2006, and the ad is timed to cast doubt on his trip there next week.

Obama has been criticized for saying recently that he would "refine my policies" for a 16-month withdrawal from Iraq, although he maintains that his position is unchanged. The ad puts up what looks like news headlines -- "Obama's Disingenuous 'Change' Agenda," "Obama the Candidate of 'Change My Mind'." -- that are actually from opinion pieces in the New York Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, respectively.

The tagline -- "country first" -- is a not-so-subtle attempt to suggest that the former Navy aviator, pictured against American flag images, is more patriotic than Obama, who did not serve in the military and spent part of his childhood in Indonesia.

By Post Editor  |  July 18, 2008; 5:04 PM ET
Categories:  Ad Watch  
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Posted by: acorpasge | August 12, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Two points regarding the role of the media in this campaign:

1. Calling that New Yorker cover "satire" aimed at Obama's enemies is like calling the photos from Abu Ghraib satire aimed at American forces of occupation. It's a lie. If Obama had been a German American candidate would they have satirized him in front of a Nazi gas chamber with a swastika in the background? Hell no.

2. Somehow Sen McCain got a pass in the media on having Mr. Enron as his economic advisor. If Obama had had someone half as crooked advising him it would have been a major scandal.

My sense is that the supposedly liberal media is in the tank for McCain. Why? I don't really know, but I'm guessing it is because McCain is a hawk and that there are powerful elements in the media who want the US to help Israel more and provide more military support in the middle east. I could very well be mistaken, and hope that I am, but can't seem to square the circle any other way.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 19, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

melissamc really nailed it on the head with the first post:

"I think this ad makes it obvious that the McCain campaign realizes they cannot win an issues-based election. McCain's only chance is to run an intensely negative campaign to try and render Obama unacceptable to voters. Sad. But it's the way republicans have been running for the last several cycles. Ultimately, I don't think it will work.
Posted by: melissamc | July 18, 2008 5:13 PM"

It's particularly sad to see McCain walking down that path. I thought he was better than that, but it turns out he's just as unprincipled as the rest. Add that to his mental dullness that won't improve any as he ages more, and I'm simply not comfortable with the idea of a McCain presidency.

Fortunately, I don't think it'll happen.

Posted by: davestickler | July 19, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

It's all right friend. Anyone with a heart would down a couple and get mad. Times will only get worse. We really did it this time, didn't we? Buggered our children for years and now all us older folks will cry the blues. I commend you on your apology. We need more people like you. We are only human, but should always be ready to say we made a mistake.

Posted by: justadad55+ | July 19, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

From Canada, If Germany does want not him, screw them. You have a man who wants to talk and learn. At least he is truthful about it. Go for it our neighbors. You have had a leader who has lied to you for years and where are you now. I'll tell you. In the pit of hell if there is such a place.

Posted by: justadad55+ | July 19, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

I just read my last post when I had a few beers, and it is horrible. It's terrible to wish someone harm. I take it back. :(

Posted by: Jenny | July 19, 2008 4:36 AM | Report abuse

Obama is in Afghanistan. Hope he dies there.

Posted by: Jenny | July 19, 2008 3:50 AM | Report abuse

visit

RealDemocratsUSA.org

Taking back our party one neighborhood at a time

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Posted by: RealDemocratsUSA.org | July 19, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Be thankful that we have Obama. I lived in Europe- they HATE us now, thanks to Bush. You don't know how lucky we are that Europeans like Obama so much. We need allies. We need to have real coordination on intelligence issues. And there needs to be trust. Not just a feeling of American imperialism and arrogance.

Let Obama do what he needs to do to repair the relationships. He's outpolling McCain 72-11 in Germany. 72-11.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 19, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I agree. Germany and Europe are not places for Obama to run his presidential campaign. He can visit and talk to European leaders to explain his visions (if he has any) and policies. But if he takes advantage of Germany and uses her landmarks for his gains, this Democrat will turn her back on him. It is very inappropriate. Obama is not JFK and the times are different. I rally hope Obama exercises the right judgement when he is overseas.

Posted by: Mellissa | July 19, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Obama has an 85% percent approval rate in Germany, and a 75% approval rate in France, which is better than the approval rates for the leaders of those two countries. McCain and his cronies can''t stand the thought of an Obama trip across the Globe where he receives the adulations of millions as the next leader of the free world. The power of such imagery has the potential to turn the McCain campaign into a footnote in a paragraph in American history.

Posted by: caliguy55 | July 19, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

If Obama uses Germany's national monuments such as the Berlin Gate as his campaign tool, he will have a lot of enemies. It will get very ugly very quickly.

Posted by: Ares | July 18, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

While I agree with your assessment Repub, I doubt that the bowling and bridge playing public will ever come to grips with the level of detail which you (and I) command. One must share this info with one's friends in ways they can receive it.

"It appears to me that once people start paying as much attention to the election as we political junkies, McCain will have a hard time convincing voters that he has the foreign policy chops over Obama. First he said the war would be easy - Obama said we shouldn't attack Iraq but continue in Afghanistan. Game - Obama. Second, McCain poopood Obama's comment of attacking al Queada in Pakistan if we found them. Shortly there after the Bush adminstration attacked al Queada in Pakistan. Set - Obama. Last, Bush and McCain said talking to Iran would be appeasing on the level of Chamberland. This week President Chamberland...uh I mean Bush, appeased the Iranians. Match - Obama. McCain will have a very difficult time convincing people he is better prepared. (In my opinion, we must share this info, so that people understand that being much smarter is better than being much older. Half the population are still deluded into thinking that being shot down as a fighter pilot prepares a person to lead the free world.

Posted by: Repub | July 18, 2008 11:12 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Also Thom, the 'surge' from 130,000 to 165,000 is not over.
We still have 150,000 troops there due to the dire circumstances.

Posted by: Bruce Becker | July 18, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

It appears to me that once people start paying as much attention to the election as we political junkies, McCain will have a hard time convincing voters that he has the foreign policy chops over Obama. First he said the war would be easy - Obama said we shouldn't attack Iraq but continue in Afghanistan. Game - Obama. Second, McCain poopood Obama's comment of attacking al Queada in Pakistan if we found them. Shortly there after the Bush adminstration attacked al Queada in Pakistan. Set - Obama. Last, Bush and McCain said talking to Iran would be appeasing on the level of Chamberland. This week President Chamberland...uh I mean Bush, appeased the Iranians. Match - Obama. McCain will have a very difficult time convincing people he is better prepared.

Posted by: Repub | July 18, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Now that the US and Iraq have agreed to a timeline for bringing US troops home, Obama has lost one of his cards. The surge worked, fool.

Posted by: Thom | July 18, 2008 9:29 PM

No Thom, what actually happened is that Maliki rejected the threats of Bush to take $20 billion in gold from the Iraqi people we are keeping in the Fed Bank and Maliki rejected our DEMAND that we be allowed to stay there for 50 years. It was NOT Bush's idea.
It is being jammed down his throat.

Posted by: Bruce Becker | July 18, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

This post is so true. Check out which candidate actually understands foreign policy and which one is just talking trash:

"Recently, the Republicans have put a serious, public focus on Afghanistan - which Obama has been talking about for a long time (in the context of going in and getting bin Laudin) . In the last few days, the administration has undertaken diplomatic engagement with Iran - which Obama has been talking about our needing to do, (and for which he was criticized by McCain and Clinton). Today, the White House and McCain talk openly of a "time horizon" for withdrawal from Iraq - which Obama has been talking about for a long time. (Of course we have to withdraw, now that Maliki has rejected the Bush/McCain plan to occupy Iraq for 50 year and suggested we can get out in 3 at the most, 2 if things go well.

I'm confused. Which candidate is naive? McSame has no clue.

Posted by: godblessusa | July 18, 2008 10:38 PM

Posted by: Bruce Becker | July 18, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I have not been to Iraq once, and still, I knew that bin Laudin was not there when we attacked them.

I am so grateful to the Republicans that they didnt require McCain to be tested for Alzheimer's. The televised debates should be quite revealing if the questioners actually ask probing questions about the issues.


Posted by: Bruce Becker | July 18, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Recently, the Republicans have put a serious, public focus on Afghanistan - which Obama has been talking about for a long time. In the last few days, the administration has undertaken diplomatic engagement with Iran - which Obama has been talking about for a long time. Today, the White House and McCain talk openly of a "time horizon" for withdrawal from Iraq - which Obama has been talking about for a long time.

I'm confused. Which candidate is naive?

Posted by: godblessusa | July 18, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Disillusioned Obama supporters !!!!!! A new site for you.
http://formerobamasupporters.com/

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama aid misplaced $35 millions in donor money!!!

Posted by: Insider | July 18, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

This is the AD Watch column...

Could it be that... The reason why McCain can get away with having Mr. Enron as his econ advisor? ... is the same reason that the NYer got a pass on its magazine cover?

And let's be honest calling that cover "satire" aimed at Obama's enemies is like calling the photos from Abu Ghraib satire aimed at American forces of occupation. It's a lie. If Obama had been a German American candidate would they have satirized him in front of a Nazi gas chamber with a swastika in the background? Hell no.

It's mid-July. I'm guessing that the ad watching is going to become a lot more interesting in September and October.

The media has done an interesting dance: it has the rep for being liberal, despite the fact that the WaPo loudly beat the drum for Bush's Iraq War, but it does seem to be in the tank for McCain. Hmmm, how can we reconcile the liberal press being hawks towards the middle east... And who does that bias help in September and October....

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Now that the US and Iraq have agreed to a timeline for bringing US troops home, Obama has lost one of his cards. The surge worked, fool.

Posted by: Thom | July 18, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

GREAT - declare the election OVER!!! OBAMA aka JOE ISUZU 'the guy you sorta like even though he lies to your face' generates more 'excitement' than JOHN'the-old-fool'McCAIN. ALL ELLECTIONS SHOULD BE JUDGED BY THE UNBIASED NATIONAL ^SSHOLE MEDIA ON THE QUANTITY/QUALITY OF 'EXCITEMENT' NOT VOTE COUNTS!!! DEMBHOLE FOOLS. Ha.

Posted by: Zyskandar A Jaimot | July 18, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a clown... His trip to Europe and Middle East is purely hypocritical especially the rock star treatment by the ABC, CBS and NBC. It took him three years to visit my brothers and sisters in Iraq. Why now when you are running for president? We don't another Bill Clinton in the office. Obama lacks the decisiveness and firmness to be our Commander In Chief. Remember when Bill Clinton ignored two urgent calls to request to shoot Osama Bin Laden when our snipers were within eyesight of assassinating OBL . Bill Clinton ignored those calls because he was busy playing golf. Clinton brags about getting close to Bin Laden but if he took those phone calls and ordered OBL killed we would not have never been attack during 9-11. The reason why the army cannot support a two front war is because of Clinton. The huge cut back in the military without regards to the future security of this nation during his eight years in office resulted in the army's inability to fight a two front war. Clinton was also weak on Saddam. When Saddam kicked out the UN inspectors out of Iraq, Clinton responded with a two carrier presence policy in the Persian gulf. Clinton's weak response resulted in Saddam laughing at our butts and us having to deal Saddam's evil for another 5 years. If we did not invade Iraq, we would not be allied with the Iraqi. The Iraqis would not be living the life of freedom. We would end up dealing with Saddam's sons in the future. They are worse than Saddam. Oh by the way, Obama don't make a political campaign out of your overseas trip. It is paid for by the taxpayers. So please don't do that planned speech in Germany.

Posted by: DDG56 | July 18, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Ain't happenin'

If that black man doesn't receive the nomination of the 45th DNC - on the anniv of MLKs Dream speech - the dem party is done.

Hillary people are buck wild! That can be fun at a party or in a bar. But it ain't happenin' at the convention.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

In order to have a legitimate nominee the Democratic National Committee, DNC must open up the convention in Denver next month to a real democratic process.

The DNC must allow both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to be placed in nomination, allow speeches by and for both, allow both names to be placed on the ballots, allow votes to be cast, allow ALL votes to be counted.

That's what real democracy is about. Call and write the DNC, superdelegates (who will decide this election) Dem officeholders, Dem officials, all media, tv, radio, internet, newspapers, etc and DEMAND that the DNC have a real, fair, open convention.

Why is Obama afraid of this??????

The role and duty of the superdelegates who will decide this election is to vote to nominate the most qualified and most electable candidate for the general election. They can vote for whomever they wish. Neither Obama or Hillary have enough delegates on their own. Hillary Clinton remains the better choice.

Let our voices be heard! All 18 million of them for Hillary Clinton!!

Posted by: TK | July 18, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

McCain's new "I Know How to Win Wars" Ad

"Friends. Ten years ago I voted to impeach President Clinton because, well, because I thought the Clintons were despicable people. Filegate and all that. But friends, I know how to win wars and this campaign for the Presidency is a war. It is no secret that the Clintons were crooked, and they just can't get enough of the big money. And it is no secret that they have been a great friend to Israel and have raked in HUGE Jewish money. Friends, Obama is like Jimmy Carter. He wants to listen to all sides of an issue and pursue a moral, progressive international policy. Friends, campaigns are wars. I need money and if the good Jewish Americans will throw their support behind me I promise, I give an oath like I gave my first wife, that I'll make American foreign policy work for your interests. I'd like to thank Sen. Clinton for arranging the meetings with her friends. And, remember, friends, I know how to win wars. Baruch Hashem.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

The Hillarycrats can put down the crack pipe!

Hillary, the new feminist, made her bones in the party by silencing bimbo eruptions and women's voices. Bill was, and still is, a dog. We have never had two people with less character in the White House.

At least Republicans lie about money. The Clintons lie because... that's who they are.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for sharing your context. I hope it gets better.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Country first, party second.

If the Dems foolishly nominate an unqualified and unelectable Barack Obama instead of the incredible, qualified, electable Hillary Clinton, Hillary has won MORE votes than ANY candidate of ANY party in history, vote for John McCain 08 and Hillary 2012.

visit RealDemocratsUSA.org

Posted by: J RealDemocratsUSA.org | July 18, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

It amazes me the self importance the internet has instilled on otherwise annonymous jerks, or rather, encouraged them to express that self importance. Do you realize how moronic you sound when the reader has no idea who you are and therefore has zero reason to take anything you say the least bit seriously? Without the internet, you'd be spouting your political pundetry to a cringing spouse. So maybe it's a good thing afterall, cuts down on spousal abuse.

Posted by: Liebo | July 18, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

We are 'winning' the war in Iraq because of the surge in bribes paid to the Sunnis. And Al Qaeda are Sunni. That money, weapons and training is going to come back and haunt us. We'll forgive Bush for lying to us a lot sooner than the Arabs will forgive us for Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

But, given the circumstances, I believe that we owe it to our troops to lie and say that are 'winning' another country's civil war.

Maybe Obama, or one of his 300 foreign policy advisors, will take note so that we can just cut a big check for Karzai and let him manage the warlords and tribal chiefs while we posse up and finish Bin Ladin.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

What favorite tactic of the Republicans to accuse Democrats of doing EXACTLY WHAT THEY THEMSELVES ARE DOING. What is it? Shifting positions in Iraq (and Iran and Afghanistan) to match their future Commaner in Cheif's positions. Yeah McCain knows how to win a war, the Obama way!

And McSame's new strategy, let Bush do the flip flopping for you ...

Posted by: Lone McCain Blogger | July 18, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

A white American man is safer walking through the streets of Harlem, at night, than he is walking into a pub in London or Sydney singing "God bless America."

To think, we used to have friends in the world.

Bring back Powell, and his doctrine.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

It's super-negative stuff from the "maverick" McCain. It's also fairly dishonest in slamming Obama for not having visited Iraq or Afghanistan "in years." He is going there this month, after all...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | July 18, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

One has to wonder at this type of electioneering. Having read two different articles from BBC about McCains former jailer and his stay at "Hanoi Hilton" where according to this supposed jailer he and McCain had numerous talks,played chess and there was no torture at that jail.How does someone who has consistantly said he was tortured & used it to advance his career by playing to the American Citizen's patriotism and turn around and use it against an opponent. For Shame

Posted by: Terri | July 18, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

"The only person that admires Obama is his idiot wife." LYNN PARKER

Oh, Lynn, where have you been? Apparently many millions American citizens admire Senator Obama- including myself- a Viet-Nam veteran who can simply not envision an angry and irrational Bomber McCain running our country when a most intelligent, articulate person ( Barack Obama) is running against him.

Senator Obama's trip will be paid for by his campaign- which I plan on sending another $100 to- after reading your insulting diatribe.

Go to www.barackobama.com to read about the real issues facing our country, and for Senator Obama's thoughts about them. You won't find McCain speaking about any issues other than bragging that, " I know how to win wars." Pathetic and unacceptable.

Not this time.

Posted by: Luke Wright | July 18, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

my friends, can we just give war a chance? Wait, that's right, we have been at war since before I was conceptualized. (A long time) New Slogan: WAR AND RELATIVE PROSPERITY (compared to the people we bomb).

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 18, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

" I know how to win wars" McCain will say anything to take our attention off his ineptitude and total lack of knowledge about the problems that we are faced with in America and abroad.

McCain never won a war, and certainly doesn't understand that military operations will not solve a civil war in Iraq. His "surge" did not succeed in making the Iraqi government self sufficient, and certainly did not make it a safe place to live.


The man is an angry, irrational dunce and has no business in a responsible government position.

It is only his corporate lobbyist friends that have kept him in office for thirty years. Send him home to his wife's luxurious ranch in Arizona where he can barbecue steaks for all his media friends. Then he can feel free to tell his off color " jokes" in peace.

Not this time.

Viet-Nam veteran. U.S. Air Force 1963-1968.

Posted by: Luke Wright | July 18, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

From Newsweek....

"It's true that Obama never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan--but that's because Joe Biden, the chairman of the Foreign Relations committee, has insisted that hearings on this critical issue be held at the full committee level, and not at the subcommittee level. It's also true that Obama has only attended on Afghanistan-related Senate meeting over the past two years, as McCain has loudly noted elsewhere. Unfortunately, McCain's record--zero of his Armed Services committee's six hearings on the subject since 2006--is even worse. Sadly, that's what happens when you're running for president--the day job suffers. "

Article:

http://www.blog.newsweek.com/blogs/stumper/archive/2008/07/18/ad-hawk-bon-voyage-barack.aspx

Posted by: Lee GIABENELLI | July 18, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

McCain's new "Environment" Ad

"Friends, many of you have asked why I've been in the Senate for 26 years but have only recently begun to acknowledge and support green policies. Many of you have asked why I didn't stand up to Presidents Reagan and both Bushs when time was still on our side. Friends, all I have to say is... Obama is a socialist!"

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Both of these candidated are a bunch of HOT AIR and they are both 1st class bores. The only person that admires Obama is his idiot wife (maybe) and the man is just so much in love and impressed with himself, he makes me sick to my stomach!

Now he is going to run around the world, who is paying the tab, and why is he acting like it is a forgone conclusion that he will be elected President. Showmanship, thats all it amounts to.

It would not be a surprise if half (at least) the people he wants to stand with for publicity will not have much to say to this upstart!

Posted by: LYNN PARKER | July 18, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse


Food for thought and worth reading
===
For years, the mainstream news media has refused to stop idolizing the so-called straight talking maverick John McCain long enough to question the mental health consequences of the years he spent as a "special" prisoner of the communists in North Vietnam.

McCain, the presumptive Republican candidate for President, who could one day have his finger on the "red button," claims the communists subjected him to 5 ½ years of nonstop indoctrination sessions so intense that he attempted suicide.

Unfortunately for McCain, after his bomber was hit by anti-aircraft fire near Hanoi on October 26, 1967, he parachuted into the hands of an evil communist enemy who 7 years earlier had adopted Soviet methods of prisoner interrogation.

At that time, the Soviets were perfecting techniques designed "to put a man's mind into a fog so that he will mistake what is true for what is untrue, what is right for what is wrong, and come to believe what did not happen actually had happened."

Psychiatric Journals are flush with reports concluding that former POWs may remain entangled in "harsh psychological battles" with themselves for decades after returning home including difficulty in controlling intense emotions such as anger and stress.

In political circles, McCain, sometimes referred to as "insane McCain," is well known for having a "volcanic" temper which his colleagues say often erupts into vulgar language and personal insults.

Democrat Paul Johnson, the former mayor of Phoenix, experienced McCain's in your face temperament up close. "His volatility borders in the area of being unstable," Johnson said. "Before I let this guy put his finger on the button, I would have to give considerable pause."

The Journal of America Medicine reported in an 1996 article that being a former POW is associated with "increased cumulative incidence rates of chronic disorders of the peripheral nervous system, joints, and back and an increased hazard rate of peptic ulcer."

The 71 year-old McCain most certainly suffers pain and the weakening effects of chronic arthritis. He broke both arms when he was forced to eject after his bomber was hit. He says the Vietnamese periodically re-fractured his bones during years of interrogation and torture which rendered him permanently incapable of raising his arms above his head.

McCain has never been publicly vetted about what and how much medications he is taking. Aside from his anger and arthritic pain issues, McCain has had reoccurring bouts of malignant melanoma, a deadly form of cancer that can spread quickly throughout the body.

These facts alone beg the question on how a President McCain, in the absence of his campaign staff handlers, would deal with a snap decision that had to be made "if the White House phone rang at 3 a.m."

McCain's POW experience is unique. His communist captors considered him the "crown prince" of U.S. POWs because his father, Adm. John McCain, was commander of all U.S. forces fighting in Vietnam. Because the communists believed he was from a "royal family" and would when finally released return to the United States to an important military or government job, they held him for two years in "solitary confinement."

In February, Reuters news reported that McCain's former captors are expressing delight in the news of his nomination as Republican party Presidential candidate. "In the past Senator McCain has conducted activities that had a positive impact in bringing the two nations [Vietnam/United States] closer. That is a point that Vietnamese people who follow the current affairs do recognize," said retired North Vietnamese Colonel Nguyen Van Phuong, representing retired and present members of the Vietnamese communist military.

Since McCain was first elected to Congress 1982 (and later to the Senate), he and his staff have expended tens of thousands of hours pushing U.S. legislation favoring communist Vietnam. In 1995, McCain stood with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. to give President Bill Clinton valuable political cover he needed to disregard the issue of missing U.S. POWs in Vietnam and remove the U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam.

No U.S. POW had any communication with McCain or knew where he was being held during at least 8 to 12 months of McCain's first two years of captivity. He has either been unable or unwilling to account for the months he was missing from the POW system.

Within days of McCain's shoot down and after being told the identity of his famous father, the Vietnamese rushed him to Gai Lam military hospital (U.S. government documents), a medical facility normally unavailable to treat U.S. POWs. McCain was kept at Gai Lam for six weeks under the control of Soviet medical specialist anxious to test the use of their "mind and behavior modification" drugs on such an important prisoner.

McCain said the communists were so effective with their interrogation techniques that he broke on the fourth day after being captured and began cooperating. "Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I [McCain] did not cooperate. Eventually, I gave them my ship's name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant." Pages 193-194, Faith of My Fathers, by John McCain.

U.S. intelligence agents concluded in the early 1950s that Soviet intelligence (KGB) agents were experimenting on their prisoners with "mind control" techniques and behavior modification drugs

Allen W. Dulles, the newly confirmed CIA director acknowledged the dilemma in April 1953, when he told a gathering of Princeton alumni that "a sinister battle for men's minds" was underway. The Soviets, Dulles explained "have developed brain perversion techniques, some of which are so subtle and so abhorrent to our way of life that we have recoiled from facing up to them."

During the Cold War, the Soviets and the CIA began competing with secret experiments on prisoners aimed at honing the use of "chemical and biological materials capable of producing human behavioral and physiological changes." The experiments included isolation, sleep deprivation, humiliation, alternating with long hours of interrogation.

Since the Russians and Chinese (and our own CIA) have proven they can in a relative short time alter the basic emotional and behavior patterns of captives, it is fair to assume that McCain's unpredictable and often volatile temperament is directly related to his treatment as a 5 ½ prisoner of the communists.

The American public was first exposed to Soviet "brain perversion techniques" during Korean War when the communists launched a propaganda offensive featuring filmed and recorded testimony of captured U.S. servicemen confessing to war crimes including the use of germ warfare.

By the end of the Korean War, "70 percent of the 7,190 U.S. prisoners held in China had either made confessions or signed petitions calling for an end to the American war effort in Asia. Fifteen percent collaborated fully with the Chinese, and only 5 percent steadfastly resisted."

Military officials were especially alarmed when a significant number of the U.S. prisoners refused to recant their confessions as soon as they returned to the United States.

Beginning in 1960, KGB and Chinese agents directed the Vietnamese in establishing Vietnam's original interrogation guidelines for U.S. prisoners. They suggested interrogation techniques and issued specific intelligence requirements to be extracted during prisoner interrogations.

Official American position on POW confessions was that they were false and forced while privately expressing grave concern that the collaborations proved the communists had developed techniques that could "put a man's mind into a fog."

Psychologist have identified behavior in which a former prisoner emotionally bonds with an abuser as the Stockholm Syndrome. McCain was a strong advocate for prosecuting Bosnian, Yugoslavian and Iraqi war criminals and is adamantly opposed to any form of normalized relation with Cuba until it allows "free elections, human right organizations and a free and independent media."

Yet, McCain has resisted any kind of war crimes investigation of his former Vietnamese torturers. Prosecution and subsequent trials could bring to justice the Vietnamese torturers known by the American POWs as the Bug, Slopehead, the Prick, the Soft Soap Fairy, Rabbit, the Cat, Zorba and many others who were responsible for the murder in North Vietnam of at least 55 U.S. POWs and the brutal torture of hundreds of others.

In November 1991, Tracy Usry, chief investigator of the Minority Staff of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, testified before the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, that the Soviets interrogated U.S. prisoners of war in Vietnam. McCain became outraged, interrupting Usry several times, arguing that "none of the returned U.S. prisoners of war released by Vietnam were ever interrogated by the Soviets."

Former KGB Maj. Gen. Oleg Kalugin testified during the hearings that the KGB did interrogate U.S. POWs in Vietnam. Kalugin stated that one of the POWs worked on by the KGB was a "high-ranking naval officer," who, according to Kalugin, agreed to work with the Soviets upon his repatriation to the United States and has frequently appeared on U.S. television.

Col. Bui Tin, a former Senior Colonel in the North Vietnamese Army, testified on the same day, but after Usry, that because of his high position in the Communist Party during the war he had the authority to "read all documents and secret telegrams from the politburo" pertaining to American prisoners of war. He said that not only did the Soviets interrogate some American prisoners of war, but that they treated the Americans very badly.

McCain stunned onlookers at the hearing when he moved to the witness table and physically embraced Col. Tin as if he was a long, lost brother.

In 1949 Dr. Andrew Salter authored Conditioned Reflex Therapy, a pioneering work in the field of psychoanalysis. Ten years later, as Richard Condon was writing The Manchurian Candidate, he asked Dr. Salter to help "design" the brainwashed character for the book and subsequent movie.

More than 40 years later, in 1992, during the C-SPAN broadcasts of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, Dr. Salter watched the hearings from his New York City apartment. Salter became fascinated with McCain's overly aggressive and angry behavior toward witnesses, especially family members of men still missing in action. After a few hours he called a friend telling her, "the signs are all there, I'm afraid Senator John McCain has been brainwashed."

During the Senate Select hearings, McCain opposed all efforts by the POW/MIA families and activists to have the Select Committee expand its investigation to study how successful the Vietnamese, Soviet, Chinese and Cuban interrogation apparatuses were at exploiting American prisoners of war.

News pundants have elevated McCain to "the most popular national political figure in the country" by repeatedly describing him as a "war hero" based on his refusal accept a communist offer of "early release" from captivity.

What the media has carelessly refused to acknowledge is that the camp's senior ranking U.S. POW (SRO) had issued unquestionable orders that if a POW was to be released, "it would be the longest held prisoner" Because McCain was not the longest held POW, he would have faced a military court-marshal if he had accepted the offer.

It is incumbent upon McCain to prove to the American people that the 5 1/2 years he spent at the mercy of communist interrogators did not leave him with mental health issues that could hinder him in making snap decisions "if the White House phone rang at 3 a.m."

Is McCain taking any kind of pain or "nerve" medicines? If so, do the medicines cause emotional and physical reactions?

McCain was once treated for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is said to get worse over time for former POWs, what is the status of his treatment?

Does McCain still harbor stress triggered suicidal tendencies?

Where was McCain and what was happening to him during the months he was missing from the POW camp?

McCain implies that he made only one propaganda broadcast for the communists, but Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffers say he made over 30. How many did he make and what did he get in return?

Why does McCain still deny that the Soviets were involved in the interrogation of U.S. POWs in Vietnam?

Does McCain's former interrogators, the communist Vietnamese, Russians, Chinese and Cubans have anything in their secret intelligence files about his behavior as a prisoner with which they could blackmail a President John McCain?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

McCain's new "Health Care" Ad

"Friends, when I was a young man I made every bad choice a man can make: I got into fights, I drank heavily, I treated women like objects, and I was such a self-centered jerk that my nickname was Punk. Now, I was lucky because I had a powerful father to help me get into, and out of, college and to help me stay insured. Many of you are not so lucky. So, my fellow Americans, especially the young people, I want you to know that I have a new slogan for my new health care plan: Watch you back Jack because the safety nets gone!"

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

McCain's new "Economy" Ad

"Friends. Thirty years ago when this great country of ours was in a recession and my career was in a shambles I did what great patriots like Aaron Burr always have done, I kicked aside the old betty and found a rich new wife. Now, you may ask, what does that have to do with the economy? And I'll tell you- when you marry into money and you have access to power your world becomes a lot better and your economic opportunities increase exponentially. Friends, it has worked for me and it can work for you. In the new McCain "Trade Up" economy there are going to be the Have's and the Have Not's. As we say in the military, Get Some!

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I guess the Bush Administration's announcement of a "time horizon" kinda blindsided McSame, didn't it? Looks like we're not going to need to be in Iraq for 100 years, after all.

Posted by: Patrick | July 18, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

McCain's new "Womens Rights" Ad

"Friends, Ronald Reagan took womens rights out of the 1980 Republican platform because... well, because he could. Women respect power in a man. Don't believe all that intellectual left-wing political correct crap. They need a firm hand. So I'm proud to tell you that I support a woman's right to work for less pay than a man. I support a woman's right to have unequal rights under the law. I support a woman's right to have to do with her body what men tell her to do. Friends when people talk about a sex bias in the US Code what they really mean is that women in the US speak in code. No means yes."

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

McCain's new "Family Values" Ad

"Friends. I know what it's like to be in a rut. Almost 30 years ago my career in the Navy was going nowhere - they told me I'd never be an admiral, as my dad and his dad before him had been. And they told me I had to stop cheatin' on my wife. Friends, this is a story about the power of love. I married that other woman. And she and I figured that a guy like me would do real well in politics. Friends, thanks to you, we were right! And so I wanted to share the story of my family and my family's values with you. I hope it'll inspire some of you to become Republican politicians too!"

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Hi Howard - I see you got our note. Thanks for your continued support of the McCain 2008 effort today, by not mentioning that during the time period that Obama attended two hearings on Afghanistan (he just didn't "chair" them, that's how we get away with saying he didn't "hold" an Afghanistan hearing - see how we do that?), John McCain has attended zero.

While members of the press aren't allowed to participate in the McCain Points reward system we offer to our online supporters, I'm sure we can arrange to have an extra juicy cut reserved for you at the next press corps barbecue out at the McCain estates - the first one was so popular, journalists are falling all over themselves for invites to the next one!

Thanks for all you do.

Christina West
Women for John McCain
http://www.womenforjohnmccain.com/

Posted by: Christina West | July 18, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

McCain's "Empowerment" Ad

"Friends. In the good old days, Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona enlisted the support of William Rehnquist in Operation Eagle Eye. We had fun with black people back then- they'd come by our whites-only facilities to try to pull a lever and we'd ask them "how many bubbles are there in a bar of soap?" They'd laugh and go away with a smile on their big-lipped faces. They didn't want to vote anyways. People these days have no sense of humor- that's the problem with America. A month ago I saw a black man, a long legged mack daddy named Obama, stand on the corner begging for change, dressed in a $2,000 suit, I wanted to laugh my a$$ off. But I didn't feel empowered. So a couple of weeks ago I had a great meeting with Sy Hersch. He told me that, as long as I have Hillary's silent support, and as long as I didn't satirize Jews, my friends and I could do and say just whatever I wanted in the media today. Ain't this a great country! Can you feel the power?"

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

The past couple of weeks have been especially difficult when it comes to McCain flip-flops.

* McCain supported the drilling moratorium; now he's against it.

* McCain strongly opposes a windfall-tax on oil company profits. Three weeks earlier, he was perfectly comfortable with the idea.

* McCain thought Bush's warrantless-wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.

* McCain defended "privatizing" Social Security. Now he says he's against privatization (though he actually still supports it.)

Wait, I'm not done with the last two weeks yet....

* McCain wanted to change the Republican Party platform to protect abortion rights in cases of rape and incest. Now he doesn't.

* McCain thought the estate tax was perfectly fair. Now he believes the opposite.

* He opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. When the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion, he called it "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."

* McCain said he would "not impose a litmus test on any nominee." He used to promise the opposite.

And these come after these other reversals from April and May:

* McCain believes the telecoms should be forced to explain their role in the administration's warrantless surveillance program as a condition for retroactive immunity. He used to believe the opposite.

* McCain supported storing spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Now he believes the opposite.

* McCain supported moving "towards normalization of relations" with Cuba. Now he believes the opposite.

* McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Hamas. Now he believes the opposite.

* McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Syria. Now he believes the opposite.

* He argued the NRA should not have a role in the Republican Party's policy making. Now he believes the opposite.

* McCain supported his own lobbying-reform legislation from 1997. Now he doesn't.

* He wanted political support from radical televangelists like John Hagee and Rod Parsley. Now he doesn't.

* McCain supported the Lieberman/Warner legislation to combat global warming. Now he doesn't.

And these are the flip-flops I've noticed earlier:

* McCain pledged in February 2008 that he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Specifically, McCain was asked if he is a "'read my lips' candidate, no new taxes, no matter what?" referring to George H.W. Bush's 1988 pledge. "No new taxes," McCain responded. Two weeks later, McCain said, "I'm not making a 'read my lips' statement, in that I will not raise taxes."

* McCain is both for and against a "rogue state rollback" as a focus of his foreign policy vision.

* McCain says he considered and did not consider joining John Kerry's Democratic ticket in 2004.

* In 1998, he championed raising cigarette taxes to fund programs to cut underage smoking, insisting that it would prevent illnesses and provide resources for public health programs. Now, McCain opposes a $0.61-per-pack tax increase, won't commit to supporting a regulation bill he's co-sponsoring, and has hired Philip Morris' former lobbyist as his senior campaign adviser.

* McCain has changed his economic worldview on multiple occasions.

* McCain has changed his mind about a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq on multiple occasions.

* McCain is both for and against attacking Barack Obama over his former pastor at his former church.

* McCain believes Americans are both better and worse off than they were before Bush took office.

* McCain is both for and against earmarks for Arizona.

* McCain believes his endorsement from radical televangelist John Hagee was both a good and bad idea.

* McCain's first mortgage plan was premised on the notion that homeowners facing foreclosure shouldn't be "rewarded" for acting "irresponsibly." His second mortgage plan took largely the opposite position.

* McCain vowed, if elected, to balance the federal budget by the end of his first term. Soon after, he decided he would no longer even try to reach that goal.

* In February 2008, McCain reversed course on prohibiting waterboarding.

* McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty's behalf before a Senate committee. Now he opposes it.

* McCain was a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants' kids who graduate from high school. Now he's against it.

* On immigration policy in general, McCain announced in February 2008 that he would vote against his own legislation.

* In 2006, McCain sponsored legislation to require grassroots lobbying coalitions to reveal their financial donors. In 2007, after receiving "feedback" on the proposal, McCain told far-right activist groups that he opposes his own measure.

* McCain said before the war in Iraq, "We will win this conflict. We will win it easily." Four years later, McCain said he knew all along that the war in Iraq war was "probably going to be long and hard and tough."

* McCain said he was the "greatest critic" of Rumsfeld's failed Iraq policy. In December 2003, McCain praised the same strategy as "a mission accomplished." In March 2004, he said, "I'm confident we're on the right course." In December 2005, he said, "Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course."

* McCain went from saying he would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade to saying the exact opposite.

* McCain went from saying gay marriage should be allowed, to saying gay marriage shouldn't be allowed.

* McCain criticized TV preacher Jerry Falwell as "an agent of intolerance" in 2002, but then decided to cozy up to the man who said Americans "deserved" the 9/11 attacks.

* McCain used to oppose Bush's tax cuts for the very wealthy, but he reversed course in February.

* On a related note, he said 2005 that he opposed the tax cuts because they were "too tilted to the wealthy." By 2007, he denied ever having said this, and insisted he opposed the cuts because of increased government spending.

* In 2000, McCain accused Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt, spending "dirty money" to help finance Bush's presidential campaign. McCain not only filed a complaint against the Wylys for allegedly violating campaign finance law, he also lashed out at them publicly. In April, McCain reached out to the Wylys for support.

* McCain supported a major campaign-finance reform measure that bore his name. In June 2007, he abandoned his own legislation.

* McCain opposed a holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., before he supported it.

* McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he was for it.

* McCain was anti-ethanol. Now he's pro-ethanol.

* McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag.

* McCain decided in 2000 that he didn't want anything to do with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, believing he "would taint the image of the 'Straight Talk Express.'" Kissinger is now the Honorary Co-Chair for his presidential campaign in New York.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Republicans only know FEAR and HATE. Check out the feeble comment below for examples!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

McCain's "Foreign Policy" Ad

Friends, Barack Hussein Obama will tell you that he wants to combat Al Qaeda and the spread of nuKular weapons. But can you believe a socialist like him? Hussein Osama will tell you that he want to wean America away from its dependence on imported oil and rebuild our global alliances. Can you believe a Muslim like him? Friends, I'm white, I mean right, like you. Unlike the last democratic President, I'll never drop a bomb on white, I mean right, people. But can you trust Barack Hussein Osama to say the same thing?"

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

McCain has lost every war he has been in.

McCain was one of the lowest scoring military students ever.

McCain has one of the worst military records one could have - even with the support of his Admiral father. He knows how to act like his father, but has nothing to back it up with upstairs.

McCain has no business experience. NONE. He's never worked a real job. He knows very little about how america works.

McCain couldn't even read this website if he wanted to - he doesn't know how to use a computer. McCain is out of touch with america. He uses servants to attend to all his needs - he lives off his wife's and our money. Even when running for POTUS, he only works 3-4 days a week total, and has basicly ignored his congressional duties. Does he even want to be POTUS?!

McCain has only negative value to america as POTUS.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter what Mccain says you have to keep coming back to the central question. "What is the alternative"?

A 72 year old demented war mongering monster. The choice is easy for anyone waih a brain in their heads.

Posted by: xxx | July 18, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

McCain's "Methods and Madness" Ad

"Friends. Ronald Reagan was a great statesman, but he was loony tunes! Iran/Contra/Crack? Hello! He was so crazy that the Russians never could figure out what we'd do next. That's what I bring to the table, my friends. Our enemies will never understand my foreign policy because, hell, I don't even understand my foreign policy. To be honest, I didn't like W. in 2000 and I don't like him now. Talking to Iran. Talking to North Korea. Paying bribes to Sunnis. Enough with the talk, enough with the bribes. I don't know the economy- but I know how to start and 'win' wars. I know that Obama and Powell want to talk to our enemies, find common ground, and pursue peace. But no, no, no, not this time. No more meetin's, no more discussions, no more Iranian tricks. You give them a message that I want world war III!"

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

THAT'S your "analysis" of this ad, Howard? Really? How about pointing that McCain has not attended any of the hearings about Afghanistan held by the full Foreign Relations Committee and Obama has?

Is anyone in the media going to truth check this misleading ad?

Posted by: Lisa | July 18, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

McCain's New "Torture First" Ad

"Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo... Look, if you can't stand the heat, the get out of the hell that is Bush's foreign policy. My name is John McCain, and I'm a vet who was tortured, so believe me when I tell you that torture works. You liked the last 8 years of Republican rule, get used to it baby!- the fun is just beginning. My name is John McCain, I approve torture, and the beatings will continue until American morale improves!"

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 18, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

" I know how to win wars" McCain will say anything to take our attention off his ineptitude and total lack of knowledge about the problems that we are faced with in America and abroad.

McCain never won a war, and certainly doesn't understand that military operations will not solve a civil war in Iraq. His "surge" did not succeed in making the Iraqi government self sufficient, and certainly did not make it a safe place to live.


The man is an angry, irrational dunce and has no business in a responsible government position.

It is only his corporate lobbyist friends that have kept him in office for thirty years. Send him home to his wife's luxurious ranch in Arizona where he can barbecue steaks for all his media friends. Then he can feel free to tell his off color " jokes" in peace.

Not this time.

Viet-Nam veteran. U.S. Air Force 1963-1968.

Posted by: Luke Wright | July 18, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I think this ad makes it obvious that the McCain campaign realizes they cannot win an issues-based election. McCain's only chance is to run an intensely negative campaign to try and render Obama unacceptable to voters. Sad. But it's the way republicans have been running for the last several cycles. Ultimately, I don't think it will work.

Posted by: melissamc | July 18, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

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